updated 12:40 pm EDT, Tue March 18, 2008
Greenpeace CE rankings
Japan's Toshiba and Korea's Samsung are the most environmentally friendly of the major electronics manufacturers, claims Greenpeace. The activist group has published a new edition of its Guide to Greener Electronics, ranking producers of consumer electronics against each other in terms of factors like pollution and recycling. Toshiba has leaped ahead six positions to tie the previous leader, Samsung, due to continued improvement in areas of both recycling and electronic waste; Samsung's static ranking, meanwhile, is attributed to an "incomplete" product takeback policy.
Nokia remains under sharp criticism for its own takeback program, as employees in countries like Russia, Argentina, Thailand and the Philippines were previously not even aware of the initiative, and it was not possible to learn about recycling in the regions' official tongues. Some improvements are said to have been made, but trouble persists in Russia and India, blocking the company from a possible #1 spot.
Apple is noted to have made a considerable leap in its score, rising from 2.7 points to 6.7, just one point down from the leaders. Greenpeace links this to the release of products like the MacBook Air, which is free of some of the toxins the group has complained about. The major issue is once again takeback, which in Apple's case does not have a global reach.
Console maker Nintendo sits at the bottom of the list for the second time in a row, accused of having virtually no recycling efforts. The company says it opposes Greenpeace's views, though, commenting that they are "based on the assumption that recycling is good for the environment." Critics of recycling observe that in some cases, it can consume as many resources as are needed to make a new product.